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For now, talk of cooperation in US politics


Source: China Daily    Published: 2018-11-09

US President Donald Trump said he is willing to work across the aisle with Democrats in the House of Representatives but vowed to fight if they push back, after the party regained the lower chamber of Congress in the midterm elections on Tuesday.

In a news conference at the White House a day after congressional elections created a divided Congress in which Republicans expanded their numbers in the Senate but lost control of the House, Trump stressed unity while a longtime Democratic leader highlighted oversight power on the same day.

"I would love to see unity, peace, love and any other word you want to use," Trump said on Wednesday. "Obviously, I think that we had to wait until the midterms were over. Now they are over. It really could be a beautiful bipartisan type of situation."

Areas where the two parties could work together include economy, healthcare, trade, infrastructure and lowering the cost of prescription drugs, Trump said.

The president said Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, had expressed to him a desire to work together.

A divided-power arrangement in Congress with a GOP-led Senate means Democrats would be limited in what they can do. But analysts have predicted an increase in investigations to be pursued by subpoena-powered Democratic committee leaders, for the new majority's greatest influence will be oversight.

Trump lashed out at any such subpoena attempts by Democrats, who may be emboldened by their takeover of the House.

"If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!" Trump said in a Twitter post Wednesday morning.

His warnings continued later in the day at the news conference. "They can play that game, but we can play it better," Trump said. "All you're going to do is end up in back-and-forth and back-and-forth, and two years is going to go up, and we won't have done a thing."

Pelosi, at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, said, "A Democratic Congress will work for solutions that bring us together, because we have all had enough of division."

But the congresswoman added, "We have a constitutional responsibility to have oversight."

In Beijing on Wednesday, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that the US midterm elections are a US domestic affair, and the results will not change China's view of bilateral ties.

In light of the importance of Sino-US relations, it is the common wish of farsighted people from the US to maintain a healthy and stable development of the relationship, Hua said at a daily news briefing.

That relationship benefits the peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region as well as the world, she added. Hua said China is ready to work with the US to handle differences properly, promote cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and push forward the development of bilateral ties in the right direction.

Jin Canrong, a professor and associate dean at the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China in Beijing, said given that the midterms often are viewed as a referendum on the sitting administration's politics and policies, the result of the elections could foreshadow the trajectory of US politics for the next two years.

He said a polarized Congress likely would pose many obstacles for Trump, as Democrats could challenge Republicans' domestic policies, including slowing or stopping the repeal of Obama-era healthcare programs, slowing some of Trump's immigration policies and slowing or reversing the push against environmental regulations.

But Jin said the result is not likely to have much of an impact on US foreign policy.

Jin Canrong is the associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China.

Key Words: midterm election   Sino-US relations   policies   Jin Canrong  

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